Why Good Arguments Often Fail: Making a More Persuasive Case for Christ

Why Good Arguments Often Fail: Making a More Persuasive Case for Christ

by James W. Sire


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You gave it your best shot. You made the best case you knew how, and your friend still wasn't persuaded to follow Christ. Why is it that solid, rational arguments for the Christian faith often fail?

For over fifty years James Sire, noted author and public defender of the Christian faith, has asked himself that question. Sometimes, of course, the arguments themselves just aren't that good. How can we make them better? Sometimes the problem has to do with us and not the arguments. Our arrogance, aggressiveness or cleverness gets in the way, or we misread our audience. Sometimes the problem lies with the hearers. Their worldview or moral blindness keeps them from hearing and understanding the truth.

With wisdom borne of both formal and informal experience, Sire grapples with these issues and offers practical insight into making a more persuasive case for Christ.

Includes an annotated bibliography of resources for framing effective arguments.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780830833818
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Publication date: 02/22/2006
Pages: 206
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

James W. Sire (PhD, University of Missouri), formerly a senior editor at InterVarsity Press, is an active speaker and writer. He has taught English, philosophy, theology, and short courses at many universities and seminaries. He continues to be a frequent guest lecturer in the United States and Europe.

His InterVarsity Press books and Bible studies include The Universe Next Door (a worldviews textbook), Scripture Twisting, Discipleship of the Mind, Chris Chrisman Goes to College, Why Should Anyone Believe Anything at All?, Habits of the Mind, Naming the Elephant, Learning to Pray Through the Psalms, Why Good Arguments Often Fail and A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics.

Table of Contents



I Believe--Help My Unbelief: Credible Witness

Part 1: Common Logical Fallacies

1. Love is a Fallacy

2. You're All Hypocrites! Unqualified and Hasty Generalizations

3. It's Dangerous to Believe You're Right: Causes and Contradictions

4. You Have Insulted Us All: Sentiment, False Analogy and Poisoning the Well

Part 2: Good Arguments That Often Fail

5. People Can't Communicate. What? Arrogance, Aggression and Cleverness

6. I Don't Get It: Misreading the Audience

7. What a Harebrained Idea! Worldviews and Evolution

8. Who Am I to Judge? Worldviews and Relativism

9. The Heart Wants What It Wants: Moral Blindness

Part 3: Good Arguments That Work

10. I See You Are Very Religious: Paul in Athens

11. So Why Should I Believe Anything? Christian Witness in a Postmodern World

12. Framing Effective Arguments: A Guide to Literature


Author Index

Subject Index

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